An exhibition on the life and work of the Cranach family of painters in the historic Cranach House.
Lucas Cranach the Younger was born 500 years ago in the Cranach courtyards on the market square. His father, the court painter of the Electorate of Saxony, Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553), had owned the courtyards since 1511 and maintained his successful workshop here.
The Cranach courtyards still reflect the quite authentic image of a 16th century workshop. In 2007, they were therefore declared an architectural monument of national importance. On 26 June 2015, "Cranach's World" - a cultural-historical exhibition on the life and work of the artist family - opened at this historic site.
The exhibition provides an overview of the Cranachs' painterly work, which is rich in themes and motifs, and explores questions about the workshop process. The Cranach family of painters also left behind an astonishing graphic oeuvre. Early on, Cranach the Elder had created illustrations for book printing. One of the very rare early graphic works, the Olmützer Messbuch (Olomouc missal), can be seen in the exhibition's treasury. From 1522 onwards, he ran a print shop that produced prints of world significance, including Luther's so-called "September Testament".
The printing press in the exhibition clearly shows how printing was done in the early modern period.
From the end of the 1520s, Lucas the younger worked in his father's workshop. The Cranachs were not only very productive, but also determined art in central Germany for decades with their pictorial inventions. They painted the castles in Annaburg, Torgau, Wittenberg and probably also some town houses. Only a few of them have survived. In the Cranach-Hof Markt 4, wall paintings from the Cranach workshop were uncovered in the course of renovation. However, Cranach the Younger and Cranach the Elder were not only painters and graphic artists, but also councillors, mayors, property or pharmacy owners. The exhibition presents the business fields and builds a bridge to the artists' workshops located in the Cranach courtyards, the Cranach pharmacy and the youth art school.
The exhibition was created with the kind support of:
Lotto Saxony-Anhalt, the ÖSA of Saxony-Anhalt, Lutherstadt Wittenberg and the Lions Club Wittenberg.